We stood at the tail of the Old Man Car. Lingered in a parking lot.

“Why don’t we go grab a coffee? COFFEE?”

“Nah. We need to get home. I’ve gotta be at the VA on Monday. They’ve gotta check my coumadin.” Dad fiddled with his Georgia Bulldog hat. “Remember how I told that Donna at Buffalo River Farm how coumadin was really rat poison?”


Cars zoomed by the Green Hills Hampton Inn. On the way to wherever.



“Don’t gotta. Got plenty of toilet paper, though. In case I need Linda to……well…….you know………”

I swallowed. Hard. “YES. I KNOW. ARE YOU SURE—”

“We really need to—”

I hugged my mother. “Thank you. For making this……this……..”

“I’m proud of you, Andra.” Mom blinked. Turned away. “Now, Roy, if you tell me one time how to get out of here, I’m going to put you out on the side of the road.”

“Well, you better not follow them people too close, or I might just poke a hole in the floor with my fake foot brake.”

I leaned on MTM.

And, I waved into my parents’ rear view mirror as they drove away.

Don’t tell them how much I treasure the time we spent on the Natchez Trace.


Let it be our secret.


Click here to see the best photos of my parents and me during my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

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Roy will never, ever read the book, but he wants you to. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

It isn’t exactly a reader question, but you’re bemoaning their demise. Keep asking questions, and I’ll answer them.


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